Upon advice I changed my needle to a ball point (sorry Sandra Betzina, you were wrong :( ). The ball point worked beautifully. I used a Janome red point needle. Claire Shaeffer did say to use a red or yellow needle but didn't mention ball point. I also have to thank Claire for her instructions on how to make piping in her book "High Fashion Sewing Secrets". So the piping is made and ready for insertion.
I have also made the underskirt/lining for the tutu section. I am letting it hang to allow it to drop, should it want to. I will leave the skirt now until the top is done as we are not sure yet which way to go. More netting, gathering, etc, etc.......
And I have done some samples for the decorative stitching on the bodice. Ellen wanted something like what I did on her communion dress (just a few years ago)..
We have decided to go with the sample on the bottom right - stretch stitch. It gives it a bit more omph!